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Number 52 on Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!
Consistently warm temperatures July through September yielded Merlot brimming with ripe, concentrated varietal character. Lots were crushed and destemmed, then each was fermented separately on the skins for five days. Certain
lots then were designated to undergo extended contact with the skins to extract additional color, flavor and tannin. The wine was racked by gravity flow to predominantly new French and American oak barrels for malolactic fermentation
and 16 months aging. During this time, barrel to barrel racking was done every three months with biweekly topping. After aging, the winemaker sampled each component wine and created a master blend featuring 60% of all fruit initially
harvested for the Grand Estates program. A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc also were added to the blend to broaden flavor complexity. The wine offers a chewy raspberry-blueberry core that is cloaked in toasty
coconut. A structure of medium-plus tannins presents a velvety texture on the middle palate.
Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. ...Read More About Columbia Crest
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which...Read More About Columbia Valley
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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